Asian shares climbed, with Japan’s Topix (TPX) index headed toward its biggest gain in seven weeks, amid a rebound in technology shares and speculation China may do more to combat slowing growth. New Zealand’s dollar dropped as inflation slowed, while gold retreated.
Japan’s Topix index rose 2 percent by 1:11 p.m. in Tokyo, boosting the MSCI Asia Pacific Index toward its first increase in four days. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.5 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures increased 0.3 percent and Nasdaq 100 Index contracts climbed 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s dollar, the first quarter’s best-performing major currency versus the greenback, weakened 0.7 percent on slower-than-projected inflation. Gold slid below $1,300 an ounce and nickel retreated for a second day.
China’s economy expanded at the slowest pace in six quarters as industrial-production growth and fixed-asset investment fell short of projections. Ukraine retook an airfield and some government buildings from pro-Russian separatists yesterday as escalating violence threatens to force NATO to do more to deter Russian moves into the region. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks on monetary policy today after U.S. technology shares rallied, Intel Corp. (INTC) beat earnings estimates and Yahoo! Inc. said Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s profit jumped.
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